Begun the radio wars has. While many media sites immediately started reporting and speculating on the break-up of Sirius XM radio jocks Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Jim Norton we waited for the dust to settle. Our thoughts were why to report on something that hasn’t happened yet? Let’s listen to a bit of show then draw our conclusions. Jim Norton has taken over the Sirius XM Opie Radio morning spot with co-host Sam Roberts, and Opie is doing drive time, a spot he hasn’t done in years. We have listened to hours of both shows and have come to the conclusion Gregg “Opie” Hughes carried not only Jim Norton but also his former co-host Anthony Cumia over the years.
Before you lose your mind, I am not bashing “Little Jimmy.” Jim Norton is a brilliant comic and a great radio “co-host.” What is apparent in listening to both shows is Opie is the radio guy. Hughes directs the flow of jokes, jabs, and conversations in the studio as a conductor controls an orchestra. He knows when to encourage his frequent visitors like Sherrod Small, Vic Henley, and Rick Voss to expand on the theme and directs them to interact with each other. The flow of the show is much more polished and produces a better product.
The simple way to look at this is everyone has their talents. Jim Norton would blow Opie off the stage doing stand-up. Right now Opie is proving he is the one with the radio chops. His recent show with Phil Collins shows he is also the better interviewer.
This does not mean the Jim Norton and Sam Roberts’ show is unlistenable. Jim and Sam recently had a slam dunk with their interview of Nancy Grace. Jim and Sam’s interview style was crisp and showed they had the skills and talent to paint the former prosecutor in a corner. Frustrating Nancy Grace to the point where she walked out of the studio.
The Jim and Sam Roberts Show is better than the standard fare you will find on traditional radio. However, Roberts’ straight man against Jim Norton’s hyperactive comedy doesn’t always flow. The repetitiveness of some of the show’s gags gets tired over time. It is clear when they play “Who Let The Cheese Out” 50 times in the show it is sarcasm, we get the bit. Now move on and find something new to entertain us with. I know Sam and Jim will find their voice and groove eventually, at least I hope they will. Until they do I guess I will be hearing “Who Let The Cheese Out” ad nauseum every morning.